American Cinematheque Sets Stephanie Allain, Esther Chang And Franklin Leonard As New Board Members As Part Of Revamp

Alexandra Del Rosario
·2 min read

American Cinematheque chairman Rick Nicita said Monday that producer Stephanie Allain, WME partner Esther Chang and Black List founder Franklin Leonard will serve as new board members at the organization. The AC also said that Ken Scherer, who had been a consultant to the board during the sale of the Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theater to Netflix, has been named executive director.

“The Board is delighted that Ken has agreed to take on the leadership of the AC and implement our strategic plan that will expand our membership program and bring new ideas and energy to our marketing and fundraising initiatives supporting our highly regard programming,” said Mark Badagliacca, the AC Board’s president.

The Cinematheque said the reorganization includes the promotion of Gwen Deglise from head programmer to deputy executive director, and programmer Grant Moninger becomes creative director and co-head of programming with Deglise.

Allain, an Emmy-nominated producer known for titles including Really Love and Justin Simien’s Dear White People, has worked with and helped launch the careers of the late John Singleton, Robert Rodriguez and more. In 2019, she became the first Black woman to produce the Academy Awards, for which Allain and producing partners Lynette Howell Taylor and Rob Paine received an Emmy nomination.

Chang’s diverse roster at WME includes Charlize Theron, Daveed Diggs, Naomie Harris, Yifei Liu, Elisabeth Moss, Bob Odenkirk, Keri Russell and Kiki Layne.

Leonard, who is a producer, professor and entrepreneur; founded the Black List in 2005. The annual list compiles Hollywood’s favorite unproduced screenplays, which have included Oscar winning films Juno, The King’s Speech and Argo. He has also served as a juror for Sundance, Toronto and Mumbai film festivals and the Pen Center Literary Awards. In 2015, Leonard was honored with the African American Film Critics Association’s Special Achievement Award. In 2019, he received the 2019 WGA East Evelyn F. Burkey Award.

The newly elected board members will join Badaglicca, Deadline’s Peter Bart, Bill Block, Sandy Climan, Peter Dekom, Charles Heaphy, Louis Kempinsky, Mary Anne Keshen, Ken Kleinberg, Sue Kroll, Michael Mann, Mike Medavoy, Darren Moll, Eric Nebot, Mark Ordesky, James Robinson, Stan Rosenfield, Ted Sarandos, Paul Shurgot, Bud Swartz, Paula Wagner and Nicita.

“We are thrilled and honored to announce the election of Stephanie Allain, Esther Chang and Franklin Leonard to the Board of Directors. Each brings a unique perspective and expertise the AC needs as we build on the organization’s rich history as a leading cultural organization celebrating film” Nicita said today.

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